a sad morning

statmam(z6)July 2, 2014

My favorite daylily is Dragon King, and yesterday the DK clump by my front door had seven strong scapes, none of which had bloomed yet. Last night heavy thunderstorms passed through the area and washed off all the deer repellent. This morning all the DK scapes were gone. The deer also devoured most of our backyard bed, but the Dragon King clump bothers me most of all because I anticipate those particularly lush blooms like a returning friend. Fortunately, there are other daylilies near the house that remain unharmed, so that is some consolation but just feeling a little bit blue about DK...

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Julia NY(6)

Gee, I hate when that happens. Your deer must in an area with less food sources so they have to go where the banquet is. You may try planting your daylilies with perennials which offend the deer by smell. Otherwise once they know where the food source is they will keep coming back...unfortunately.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:59AM
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To add insult to injury, I found one of the culprits (an adolescent with spots still visible) sleeping it off in one of the beds! Ah, well. Can't blame him for doing what comes naturally.

The repellent is very stinky and usually quite effective, but a heavy rain like the one last night will wash it off. Do you have any suggestions for perennials that deer find smelly? Most of the "deer-proof" perennials I currently have are distasteful to deer because of texture rather than smell...which probably makes the daylilies all the more attractive to them.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:24PM
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Sorry that the deer did so much damage. They can be a real pain around my daylily beds too. The past couple years I've had good success using Sweeney's deer fortress stakes around the daylily beds. I still occasionally see hoof prints in the beds, but the deer don't stop and munch off my scapes like they use to. If you have a lot of beds to manage it might be cost prohibitive, but they have been very effective here in my beds.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:35PM
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Maryl zone 7a

Thank goodness I don't have deer, but I do have sympathy for your situation. To wait all year for something only to have it gone overnight is so sad. I hope the other daylilies make up for it with a glorious show.........Maryl

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:53PM
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shive(6b TN)

My condolences to you. I hope you don't have any more deer damage. It's so frustrating.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 2:07PM
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gonegardening(7 VA)

Oh, my sympathies. You are made of strong stuff as I think I would probably give up.

I once saw a garden (think I might have mentioned this in the past) in PA that used cleome to border (which would be a lot of cleome). The deer went around it and we parted the cleome like a curtain to see the daylilies.

The problem I think is when they get used to coming and the habit has to be broken.

For smaller vermin, I've had good luck with the shake away products...but, they, too, probably have to be reapplied after heavy rain.

Good luck! I hope you get to see some pretty blooms.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:14PM
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I am so very sorry. A very big disappointment to lose loved blooms about to open.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:31PM
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njmomma(z6 NJ)

So sad! I have Dragon King and love it. I couldn't have daylilies when I lived in deer country but I grew plenty of other stuff. I feel for you. You can't beat nature.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 6:52PM
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An acquaintance of mine uses heavy doses of milorganite, spread thickly around the plants. She still hasn't had damage and lives right near the forest.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 8:48PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your helpful suggestions and your kind commiseration. Gonegardening, I had about 30 seconds of complete despair when I considered removing every daylily in the garden...followed by a two-minute fantasy about super-charged electric fences that would fry any deer that even looked at my yard. But the moment passed, and tomorrow I will enjoy whatever is left while researching Sweeney's, cleome, and milorganite as possible back-up measures to our usual repellent spray. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:18PM
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